5TH INT'L WAYNE FEDERMAN FILM FEST: Tig Notaro presents Urban Cowboy

Tig Notaro—actor, comedian, writer, stand up comic—is one of the most personal comedians working today, using her life a to craft an oft-dark, yet assuredly affirmational and unique style of comedy. Never shying away from heavy subject matter (particularly her battle with breast cancer) Notaro keeps audiences laughing whilst insisting on confronting very real struggles. So, it’s no surprise that Notaro chose to show the early Travolta vehicle, Urban Cowboy‚ “a tough-talking, softhearted romantic melodrama that sees a world that is far more bleak than the movie, or the characters in it, ever have time to acknowledge” (Vincent Canby). Thought at first glance, a throwaway B-Hollywood picture that re-treads the same territory as any other melodrama of its time, a closer look reveals Urban Cowboy to be a film that flirts with an ethnographic style, documenting working class Texas (particularly Houston) via an unbelievably large honky-tonk bar, a new romance, and a marked interest in how this rarely documented slice of 80s American life ticks when off the clock.

Dir. James Bridges, 1980, 35mm, 132 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!